Stand mixers can be a lifesaver for frequent bread bakers. They provide an efficient alternative to physically kneading the dough, saving time and energy. While they can be a major investment and somewhat expensive, it may be worth your while to buy a new stand mixer for your kitchen.
My pick? I love the KitchenAid Artisan Mixer from Amazon. A classic!
Every baker is different, so make sure to consider the factors listed below when shopping for your mixer. Some of the best stand mixers on the market are outlined after this buying guide, each with their own features and unique purposes described.
Generally, the heavier the stand mixer, the better. Lighter models tend to “walk” or bounce around the countertop if it’s tackling a heavy duty job like bread dough. Your mixer should weigh at least 20 pounds if you’re planning on using it often for bread.
The KitchenAid Artisan is 26 pounds. See it at Amazon.
Some light mixers have suction cups on the bottom to avoid the “walking” problem, but this isn’t a very reliable solution and getting a heavyweight mixer will take care of this issue altogether. The ACEKOOL stand mixer has great suction cups, which work depending on your countertop surface.
For making bread dough, you’ll be focusing on lower speeds when using your mixer, so make sure the model you’re looking at has this feature. However, it wouldn’t hurt to find a model with a wide range of speeds so that you can use your mixer for other baking projects as well. Whipping cream or egg yolks needs high speed action. And who doesn’t like a good homemade whipped cream?
Your mixer needs to have a slow start option for the best possible mixing experience. A slow start is when the motor spins slowly for the first few seconds of mixing so that the loose ingredients don’t fly all over your kitchen. This is especially important for bread makers, considering the potential flour explosion a fast starting machine could create.
The material of the gears in your stand mixer also need to be explored. Nylon or plastic gears tend to be quieter than their counterparts, but metal gears last longer and therefore make the whole model a better investment for your kitchen. On this note, if you go for metal gears, make sure they are brass or steel, as these will yield much better results both long and short term.
You will want your beaters to move in what’s called a “planetary action” rotation, which basically means that they rotate the same way the earth rotates around the sun. This movement thoroughly scrapes the sides of the bowl with the beater so that all ingredients are fully mixed with minimal outside effort.
The KitchenAid Artisan from Amazon has 59 point planetary rotation.
1. ACEKOOL Stand Mixer – Affordable and Powerful
I wasn’t sure what to expect when this stand mixer arrived at my doorstep. Spoiler alert: Thumbs up. There are some features that surprised me and make this mixer a pretty darn good choice.
Here’s the Acekool mixer at Amazon.
Huge bowl capacity
It is not immediately obvious right out of the box, or even looking at the picture of this bowl, but it is BIG at 7.5 quart capacity. I think I didn’t notice how big it was because of the nice proportions of the bowl — it fits right under the beater on the stand and just works. You can make a lot of bread with this one. During my testing of this stand mixer, I decided to make some quick bread for a large group coming over to the house. I put in 3 box mixes (don’t judge me!) and the bowl didn’t even get close to full. I probably could have done 5 mixes and gotten near capacity.
If you are going to make 3, 4 or 5+ batches of bread at a time, this is the stand mixer for you. I have used the 6 quart KitchenAid bowl for years and this extra 1.5 quart capacity surprised even me!
Speed and power (like the commercial kitchens)
When turning on this stand mixer for the first time, there is no gentle giddy up like the KitchenAid motor, this Acekool is gonna GO. The twist knob speed function is fun to use and has a satisfying click as you turn it up. It has a backlight in blue and gives the visual style of a nice electronic dial. I highly recommend that you use the included splash shield, given the power level right out of the gate. Speaking of splash shield, it is cleverly designed so you can add more ingredients while the mixer is operating.
There are ten speeds on the motor dial, and I’m going to confess I didn’t even get this up to higher than 8, it just wasn’t necessary for this 600-watt motor. While I did not do decibel noise testing, my own ears tell me this motor is on the regular-to-higher side of motor volume, so if you are looking for a super quiet machine, this will not be the right one. Don’t let the noise stop you though from considering the massive power benefit however.
The Acekool mixer is fairly light compared to our other models we reviewed. To make up for this, the manufacturer has designed 6 non-stick suction cups to hold it to the counter surface. Yes, I do realize I said earlier that weight is important, and you can’t rely on suction cups to hold a stand mixer in place when making bread dough. I still stand by that statement, but in my testing of this mixer, it did not move or walk off once.
Let’s be practical, when we look at the mixers on the market, everyone knows and recognizes the KitchenAid brand. Even the Ankarsrum brand has been around for years in select circles (ahem: professionals and artisan bread communities). But if the price of the Acekool comes in at 1/6th of the cost of a pricey stand mixer, and gets you the features and performance you want, I think setting your own trend here and going with the Acekool is a clear win.
2: Ankarsrum Stand Mixer
Here’s the Ankarsrum at Amazon.
With a 12 pound dough capacity and a 7 quart stainless steel bowl able to fit 18 cups of flour at a time, you can make a lot of bread with this one. It has a high quality 600 watt motor that handles this enormous capacity with ease.
Adjustable speed, very durable.
With adjustable speeds of 44 to 130 RPM and automatic sensors that adjust the torque to the workload, it has unparalleled ease of use. It’s even been proven tough enough for everyday bread baking without the motor overheating or stripping gears. It can handle bagel or pizza dough with no hesitation.
Good value for a quality machine
While it is a bit of a pricey investment, it beats out its closest competitor (the Hobart N50-60 All Purpose Bench Mixer from Amazon) as a much more affordable option with the same bread baking abilities. It also comes in various colors at Amazon to match your unique kitchen decor tastes. The 5-year warranty makes this a no-worries kind of decision.
3. KitchenAid Professional 600 Series
Another great heavy duty stand mixer suitable for bread baking is the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series. This is the most popular brand of stand mixers out there. Most bakers I know have one of these. KitchenAid actually developed the first ever tabletop mixer back in 1919. Their timeless reputation is proven by the 600 Series’ incredible capabilities and features.
You can see the KitchenAid Professional at Amazon.
6 quarts, 10 speeds, 4 attachments
This mixer has a 6 quart stainless steel bowl, which yields about 8 loaves of bread per batch. It has 10 mixing speeds, all metal beaters, and a 575-watt motor. With the mixer comes a “Powerknead” spiral dough hook, a flat beater, a wire whip, and a pouring shield. These extra attachments and features give you a much bigger bang for your buck.
However, the KitchenAid does have some drawbacks. Its 1-year warranty can be worrisome to some new or first time buyers, especially since standalone mixers tend to need special care and proper use in order to last as long as possible. Most people feel you can avoid this by reading and following instructions carefully and consistently, but the limited warranty is an issue.
Some home cooks and bakers say it’s a bit noisy. But remember, this is an industrial level machine often found in professional settings, so it can also create industrial level noise. Consumer Reports actually docked the KitchenAid model for this reason.
4. KitchenAid Artisan
For a medium duty stand mixer for bread, the KitchenAid Artisan model works well. It is quieter and not as powerful, but still makes beautiful breads if used properly and only occasionally.
Here’s the KitchenAid Artisan at Amazon.
If you’re planning on baking bread almost every day of the week, you’ll have to sacrifice the noise level or go for the Verona model. Think about your specific needs or plans for your stand mixer and choose the best option for your kitchen.
Personally I like the Artisan KitchenAid at Amazon. Call me a traditionalist, this is just the stand mixer I think of when I think of making bread.
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